xylem29

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Hello,

For people like who has just gotten into med school and don't know much about what life will be like in the near future, and for those who know even less about medical training - i.e, those who like to say "once you're in, you're set man - you're going to be a doctor no matter what. you can coast through till the end and make so much money once you're done" - please enlighten us with what residency really entails. Like, do you still have to write exams/tests during residency? Do assignments? Projects? Presentations? Conferences? "School work" on top of being the best physician you can - while being sleep deprived?

Of course, I already know that the statement "once you're in med school, you're set" is false - because the big MCAT-like testing, doing research, doing volunteer work, getting good grades, getting good references, going through application processes and going on interviews (First its med school, then its just for electives, then it's for residency, then its for fellowships, then its for jobs) will never end untill you are around 10 years post residency and fully settled.. I know, I know - it never ends - if you want to be a good physician, if you want to get into the specialty that you are interested in, if you want to work at a good location and great hospital - NOTHING is set. In fact, I think it is safe to say that, we will have to work even harder than we did in undergrad - stress out even more, lose even more sleep...am I right?

So - what can I be expecting?? :D
 

timtye78

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First of all, here is a saying that may be a little corny, but it is true:

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with two steps."

Focus on doing well at each level that you achieve. Do your best in medical school, then residency, then work. Each will take care of the next-this is really true, and a good way to remain sane.

Be realistic in your goals. Eg if you are anything less than a stellar applicant, then don't be surprised if you don't match plastic surgery or optho or rads.
However, don't limit yourself too much.

Presentations papers exams: Yes to occasional presentations, Yes to one to two exams per year in residency, not too many papers per se, i guess unless you heavily involved in research. Focus in residency is more on clinical skills/patient care (thank god) and making sure you will be able to pass the boards at the end.

Hope this helps. pm me if there are other questions you have.
 

Winged Scapula

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...please enlighten us with what residency really entails. Like, do you still have to write exams/tests during residency? Do assignments? Projects? Presentations? Conferences? "School work" on top of being the best physician you can - while being sleep deprived?... In fact, I think it is safe to say that, we will have to work even harder than we did in undergrad - stress out even more, lose even more sleep...am I right?

So - what can I be expecting?? :D

Most residency training programs and specialties will have in-training exams. These can be the "bubble-in" multiple choice exams like the ABSITE in Surgery, or they may entail clinical examinations as well. Generally these would not be more than once a year or two.

Projects, assignments not so much.

Presentations? Perhaps. If you are in a journal club (which despite its name, residents don't have a choice in "joining" like a real club) you may be expected to present articles and critique them. You may have to present at a Morbidity and Mortality conference - the pain of which will vary widely between programs. You may be expected to take part in presentations for resident educational conferences.

Conferences? Definitely. Your residency program is required to present information on Core Competencies, which you are required to sign in and attend and your department should have others as well. These may include M&M (as above), Interesting Case Conference, Journal Club, Multidisciplinary conferences, Educational Conferences, Grand Rounds, etc. Residencies are required to have x number of hours of education for their residents per week and you are required to attend these as well.

A major difference in residency from undergrad is the increase in stress. Even if you find yourself in a kinder and gentler specialty and program, without lots of teaching by humiliation, it can be very stressful to know that your decisions can have a major impact on someone's life. It may be the attendings's name on the chart, but you are generally responsible for the day to day care of the patient and despite numerous back-stops in the road, mistakes you make can be carried out (see the thread about Mistakes made by residents - you can overdose someone, or kill them doing a procedure, even though others are supposedly watching over and supervising your actions). The work is different, the hours are less controllable (ie, you can't just decide not to show up to the hospital like you could a lecture and you can't come and go as you please), but there is also the challenge and pleasure in knowing you are learning and helping others in the process.
 
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mlw03

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first, take some deep breaths. life as a doctor isn't a sprint, nor a 10K, not even a marathon - it's an ultra-marathon. you're never done because medicine is always changing and to keep up requires work - period. as another person said, don't look too far ahead or you'll stumble along the way. from your post you sound way too stressed. yes, there will be some long days and some sleep deprivation. yes, you don't go out drinking as much as in undergrad. but there is time to have a life and while some students/residents/doctors feel that to be a good doctor you must torture yourself, plenty work 50 hours a week and have friends, families, and hobbies they enjoy. the choice is yours alone - don't let anyone tell you that to succeed you have to be miserable - it's just not true.

for now, just breathe. as to what exactly residency entails, i don't know exactly, but it seems to be much more focused on learning how to be a good _____ rather than the make-the-grade mindset of med students. the pediatrician needs to know how to manage asthma so the kid can breathe, not because it's gonna be on next Tuesday's quiz. i would think that leads to a vastly different mindset.

Hello,

For people like who has just gotten into med school and don't know much about what life will be like in the near future, and for those who know even less about medical training - i.e, those who like to say "once you're in, you're set man - you're going to be a doctor no matter what. you can coast through till the end and make so much money once you're done" - please enlighten us with what residency really entails. Like, do you still have to write exams/tests during residency? Do assignments? Projects? Presentations? Conferences? "School work" on top of being the best physician you can - while being sleep deprived?

Of course, I already know that the statement "once you're in med school, you're set" is false - because the big MCAT-like testing, doing research, doing volunteer work, getting good grades, getting good references, going through application processes and going on interviews (First its med school, then its just for electives, then it's for residency, then its for fellowships, then its for jobs) will never end untill you are around 10 years post residency and fully settled.. I know, I know - it never ends - if you want to be a good physician, if you want to get into the specialty that you are interested in, if you want to work at a good location and great hospital - NOTHING is set. In fact, I think it is safe to say that, we will have to work even harder than we did in undergrad - stress out even more, lose even more sleep...am I right?

So - what can I be expecting?? :D
 
8

8744

Hello,

For people like who has just gotten into med school and don't know much about what life will be like in the near future, and for those who know even less about medical training - i.e, those who like to say "once you're in, you're set man - you're going to be a doctor no matter what. you can coast through till the end and make so much money once you're done" - please enlighten us with what residency really entails. Like, do you still have to write exams/tests during residency? Do assignments? Projects? Presentations? Conferences? "School work" on top of being the best physician you can - while being sleep deprived?

Of course, I already know that the statement "once you're in med school, you're set" is false - because the big MCAT-like testing, doing research, doing volunteer work, getting good grades, getting good references, going through application processes and going on interviews (First its med school, then its just for electives, then it's for residency, then its for fellowships, then its for jobs) will never end untill you are around 10 years post residency and fully settled.. I know, I know - it never ends - if you want to be a good physician, if you want to get into the specialty that you are interested in, if you want to work at a good location and great hospital - NOTHING is set. In fact, I think it is safe to say that, we will have to work even harder than we did in undergrad - stress out even more, lose even more sleep...am I right?

So - what can I be expecting?? :D

Don't you read my blog? What's wrong with you? Other than SDN, there is not a more informative or entertaining source for medical school and residency information.

Now with more midget porn! (By popular demand)
 

cdql

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Of course, I already know that the statement "once you're in med school, you're set" is false - because the big MCAT-like testing, doing research, doing volunteer work, getting good grades, getting good references, going through application processes and going on interviews (First its med school, then its just for electives, then it's for residency, then its for fellowships, then its for jobs) will never end untill you are around 10 years post residency and fully settled.. I know, I know - it never ends - if you want to be a good physician, if you want to get into the specialty that you are interested in, if you want to work at a good location and great hospital - NOTHING is set. In fact, I think it is safe to say that, we will have to work even harder than we did in undergrad - stress out even more, lose even more sleep...am I right?

So - what can I be expecting?? :D

Boards? Important

Research? Depends on what kind of residency you think you're interested in...in my experience, it isn't very difficult work

Volunteer work? Highly overrated for a med student

Good grades? Again, depends what kind of residency you're targeting

Good references? Work hard, be nice, don't be a douchebag. That takes care of references!

Application process and interviews? Here's where you can tear your hair out :p

For the most part, Years 1 and 2 of med school (should you go to one with a P/F system) aren't too stressful. For the most part, Years 1 and 2 of med school (should you go to one where the lectures are taped) aren't too sleep-depriving. However, the levels of stress and sleep-deprivation usually shoot up Year 3. Year 4 should be fun unless you're participating in one of those whirlwind 20 interview tours across the country for an uber-competitive residency (hello derm, plastics, etc... etc...)
 

Strength&Speed

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All I can tell you is don't coast. You will be found out, and nobody likes a slacker. That being said, don't burn yourself out either...actually, given the overachieving nature of most of us, learning how to relax might be even better advice.

My bullet points:
Med school--the first two years is basically book work and memorization. The last two are much more clinical. Learn as much as you can on the wards. Really try to learn too, know WHY things happen, WHY you're doing something, etc.

Med school has relatively few papers to be written. Basically it is taking tests (many of them), and when on the wards--giving short presentations on whatever condition the patient/s might have. Its quite different than undergrad.

Residency is basically a kick in the nuts. Its work. And more work. You have few tests, and very few papers (besides an occasional presentation). Its 4,000 things to do and not enough time to do it. Its copying/and recopying notes/labs/reports. Its trying to ditch work on somebody else. Its also a time of incredible learning, ESPECIALLY the first year. It can be fun too, despite my comments...make good friends with your colleagues, and have as much fun as you can. Get the fark out of the hospital at every opportunity. Survival my friend, is key here.

Good luck.
 
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